Hey Everyone! Long time in Blog-land, I can only imagine you throwing tomatoes at me as I type this.
I wrote a long, impressive blog last night about Kelly and how amazing her wedding day was, I came back to make a few edits and all my writing had just escaped into cyber land somewhere to not be found so I’m trying to start over from scratch.
Kelly is an on-air personality at 95sx
and has been going by the handle, Kelly G. We’re all gonna get a kick out of hearing her call herself Kelly ‘B’ now, Bazzle that is! Kelly G is now Kelly B!!
The day started off sloshy and I just knew I’d need rainboots but no go (couldn’t find them at a store ANYWHERE!), I had to rough it sinking in the mud w everyone else. Kept me humble
. Everyone kept making references as to how awful conditions were today were for photography but I was high-fiving the Gods for giving me even diffuse lighting and bringing rain clouds to wash away the old to bring the new, aka GOOD LUCK… those soft clouds were a God-send and I never mind the rain. I actually prefer it, I LOVE the reflections generated by wet roads, I love umbrellas as accessories.. the rain lends a certain romantic element all by itself so I was in no way disappointed rain had come to greet us. Being in Charleston as long as I have, I know rain comes and rain goes here. I just had to time accordingly between the serious downpours. My camera isn’t nearly as happy about seeing the rain but she’s rather tempermental so we are the yin to one another’s yang and tend to balance out one another’s mindset.
Kelly had always dreamed out an outdoor wedding at Magnolia so I was a little anxious for her not getting her wish. I’d have to say that is the only damper of the day (or was). The planning centered around bringing the ceremony indoors but her planner, Maggie really wanted to give Kelly the one thing she really wanted: an outdoor wedding. Maggie pretty much waited until the last minute(s) and decided it was worth the gamble and set it all up outdoors (WITHOUT Kelly knowing). Kelly had pretty much given up on her dream of the wedding she had envisioned outside but somehow someWAY, they made amendments and set it up outside, with the clause that it was within running distance to coverage if necessary.
As her dad went in to grab her from the carriage house, for one last moment as a single woman everyone was being seated or ushered to the outside patio. Kelly was visibly nervous, I sat on the sidelines like any photo documentalist would and just let moments unfold, emotions set in as she walked toward her ‘husband’, towards her family and towards a new beginning. She grabbed her dad’s arm with a grip upon grips and her cute little navy shoes seemed to skip her towards her destination. As she got closer she realized no one was inside awaiting her and she had gotten her wish. The look of complete relief and happiness overcame her. I think this was the defining moment that she knew the wedding day was going to be better than she had hoped for, no worrying about schedules and timelines or if the groomsmen had too much to drink or if they somehow got wrinkled along the way. There were no more weather worries. Everything had come together spectacularly. Her wedding had been set up OUTSIDE.
And she was thrilled. The ceremony was beautiful, the weather minded it’s P’s and Q’s and it went off w/o a hitch.
Then came the reception! I mean, the party of the CENTURY! So many hidden surprises, I barely know where to begin. From shimmy-ing down with her pops (man, I didn’t think he could get that low, but he found a way!) to EVERY single time I turned towards her family they were all so animated and full of Life and Vigor. Her mom’s laugh is flu like contagious and I found myself pinching myself reminding me that I was there to WORK and not participate even tho Erica and I tend to somehow find ways to bust a move dance alongside everyone else regardless. To Mike (the guy) boogying hard core with Grandma to Tonya making a funny as the prayer included the word ‘OBEDIENT’…ahem… suddenly out of left field, the DJ started playing a disney theme – Kelly reminiscent of Kelly Clarkson came belting out the “Lttle Mermaid tune”. I think as you look through the pics, you can figure out which ones were the ones of her singing, no BELTING the theme song to Little Mermaid. There were so many good times, laughs and fun that every time I turned around, I felt something else was happening that I was missing. That’s just how fun it really was.
Drake’s family was so warm and endearing. Drake’s mom had hired me to provide rehearsal dinner coverage at Poogan’s porch the night prior. It was really hard, but I never mentioned it to Kelly leading up to the dinner bc I wasn’t certain if it was a surprise, so I just kept my mouth shut.
I’m sure that’s always the best route to take in most situations. Note to self.
Drake’s mom, Lynn was a teacher to my son Hunter and Drake’s dad was his football coach. So there were roots entrenched to make sure that I was there capturing their best family moments and I didn’t want to disappoint. The way the families embraced me I didn’t feel like ‘hired help’, but very welcomed and wanting to document the day for them the best I could.
Rehearsal dinner was to start at 6:30…….6:40 No Kelly, 6:45 No Kelly…………..I find my way to Drake and asked him if the rehearsal dinner was going to stag for him. He kind of looked nervous that she wasn’t going to show. I shot off a text to her that we were missing a bride and that her husband to be was a little nervous w/o his damsel. That’s when she found out I was there and I think she was kind of excited to have it all documented. She arrived shortly after, Whew! and Drake instantly relaxed. Isn’t that what they say about couples who belong together? There is a calmness that soothes them when the other is near.
I have to tip my hats to all the vendors involved. Newton Farms always caters amazing food and most certainly didn’t fall short this time! Ashley Bakery is NEVER a let down, and believe me I’ve had LOTS and LOTS of wedding cakes and cakes don’t get better than theirs! The DJ was fierce and kept the tempo moving and energetic and I’d completely recommend him for a party anytime. Wildflowers, Inc put together the most gorgeous bouquets and those girls come through with flying colors every time we’ve worked together! Although I didn’t get to partake, everyone was loving Icebox bar services. Event Dr’s provided all the furnishings and I’ve personally worked with them in the past and it was one of the simplest exchanges I had.
Kelly took the time to weigh in on her day, from her vantage point. Thank you so much for allowing Erica and I to be a part of your day, Bazzles (and Gukanovich’s). Kelly, Drake - I truly enjoyed every second of your day. I enjoy you two as human beings and am thoroughly delighted to have been there with you on such a monumental day of your lives.
I hope everyone loves hearing from Kelly herself especially you brides to get a feel for how the wedding day feels from a recent bride point of view.
Here is the list of vendors so you can check them out for yourself!
Here we go, this is our fairy tale… That’s all I could think when I got ready for the start of Bazzle wedding weekend. I put on my rehearsal dinner dress, got ready with my girls and we were fashionably late to my own rehearsal dinner after we rehearsed the biggest day of Mine and Drake’s life!My phone went off as we parked… Tomme: where are you bride? Drake is looking worried!
Me: I’m here! You’re here?Drake’s mom had booked Tomme for the rehearsal dinner. It was perfect! She got to meet the family, the two families got to meet each other and the pictures of the two together celebrating the night before are a perfect reminder of their first time meeting for some.Off to bed. Girls sleepover. Wake up. Makeup, hair, (kacie faulling rocked it out) mimosas, and more. Oh and some snacks! I needed those!Tomme and Erica showed up in the rain, ready to go. They were our cheerleaders for the day. Rain brings good luck! It’s all we kept saying. They took amazing pictures of the guys at Inn at Middleton Place. They looked so handsome and GQ like
and they had so much fun with Tomme! She brought those boys to life on a dreary day!Next thing I knew I was in the car and getting out at the bridal suite at Magnolia Plantation’s carriage house. Erica was inside waiting for us and it brought tears to my eyes to see her all smiley and bubbly and excited about our day. I love E!She took pics of the flowers right away, she stole our rings and took pics of them, all before I could even ask if she did that, it was done. My dress was hanging, our bridesmaids dresses were right there. She took the most creative pics while we were all having our girl time and getting ready and peaking at the people walking in.
Tomme showed up and my face lit up! How did the guys do? Do they look good? Are they behaving?! She was my spy. And a damn good one!
Before I knew it, it was time to put on my dress! Eeek! I was sweating like crazy! So nervous but so excited to marry him. I thought of the first time I saw him as I put my dress on. Oh memories, he was walking out of the house into the backyard/pool area, I was with my girls in the hot tub. It was spring break. Clean out your dirty minds. We made eye contact… That’s the moment ill always hold close to my heart. Then the moment he first told me he loved me ran through my head. Holding my face and kissing me and telling me he has always loved me and always will. My dress was on before I knew it. I was ready. Let’s do this!
But first, pics with my girls. My bridesmaids looked amazing! Girls who have made me who I am we’re standing right next to me. They are also a part of my future and the pics of all of us together make me melt. I love them.
My dad was walking into the carriage house and turned back to look at us. It was the first time I turned into a bridezilla. I covered my face and yelled, DAD! GET IN THERE NOW! He smiled and turned in until he was ready to get back to the carriage house bridal suite to walk me in.
The rain had me worried all day. I was a mess. We couldn’t get married on the lawn, it was too saturated. That would have been messy! So I was ok with getting married in the carriage house itself.
It was here! Time to walk. Here comes daddy. He took my arm, smiled and tried not to cry. As we walked in, Maggie and Dad told me they had a surprise. I was confused and ready… But nervous!
I walked in and the carriage house was empty. I looked over and everyone was on the patio, our song was playing by classical charleston, and this was it. I cried! They surprised me and it was gorgeous! Deep breath. I’m walking down the aisle with my daddy. The first man I ever loved is walking me to the man I will spend forever with. Deep breath. It all went by so fast. But Tomme and Erica caught all of the most amazing images from the time where I completely blacked out in happiness to us walking down the aisle as husband and wife! They caught everything! Him seeing me, our pre kiss, out laughter, our kiss. They got it all. This is why photography is the most important part of the wedding. And Tomme and Erica are the only way to go.
Fast forward to the pictures! Oh my god the pictures. They were so much fun. Think to yourself, when was the last time you had fun taking family pictures and posing for the photographer? Hmmmmmmmm I know! Pick me! My wedding! Tomme and Erica were so much fun to pose for. Best part was, we didn’t even pose that much, Tomme and Erica capture moments. Moments that will forever stay with you. Their personalities and fun attitude made our day. Our relationship with Tomme has grown so much. It felt like she was part of our family but she wasn’t on the same side of the camera. We wanted her in them. But then our pics wouldn’t be so beautiful! Aghhhh the toss up! Haha
Piggy back rides!
Groomsmen throwing me in the air!
Flashing bridal parties!*
*don’t worry, I got them back for that!
Next thing we knew it was time to be introduced as husband and wife!
History in the making was our first dance song. And the day sure was just that. History in the making.
The party kept on going. It was one of the best! Tomme and Erica caught it all! Perfection!
Little mermaid references… (That’s me, it’s my favorite movie, first movie I ever saw and I always think of myself when I think of Ariel. Time to get corny. She conquered all for love, for life, she did without to make things happen. She will always be my inspiration.) if you haven’t seen the video, yeah, I sang at my wedding. Part of your world. It was priceless.
My girlfriends and I are all princesses in our minds. And Tomme and Erica held that up and made us feel that way all night long.
If we are princesses, Tomme and Erica are the queens of photography in Charleston, SC. And I know they will be known as the best on the coast one day. Their talents, their personalities and the way they work together, is perfection. They made my day with Drake, that much better. A wedding isn’t complete without the creative and wonderful pictures and moments that Tomme and Erica make together. This makes me cry just typing it. Not only are they photographers, they are now best friends and always will be and I can’t wait to capture our next adventure with them. I love you Tomme Hilton and Erica Billingsley. You completed our day and our life together!